g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
News & Politics
Religion & Spirituality
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

Bored? Games!
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

Natural Living
Folklore and Mythology
Distance Learning

All times in EST

Full Schedule
g Animal Life Site

BellaOnline's Animal Life Editor


How Animals Survived Japan's Tsunami

On March 11, 2011, a Tsunami hit the northeast coast of Japan without warning, facing residents and their pets with one of the worst natural disasters in their history. The empathetic global animal community listened in on media reports expecting to hear the worst as visions of a 2005 hurricane called Katrina lingered in their minds. Much to everyoneís surprise, these reports did not surface. How did animals survive a Tsunami that struck without warning when more than a half a million perished with three days notice in Katrina? The answer is found in the fundamentally different approaches toward animal rescue. Here are some eye-opening, side-by-side comparisons.

Were animals permitted to accompany their owners to emergency shelters?
  • The Japanese government allowed pets to accompany their owners to emergency shelters.
  • Katrina families were ordered to leave their pets.
How many animal emergency services were put into action?
  • Within days of the tsunami more than a dozen outside volunteer services were permitted to work with the Japanese government to provide immediate animal assistance.
  • The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) did not allow outside volunteer services to assist and ignored Katrina animals.
What types of rescue services were provided to animals?
  • Japan received food, water, shelter, evacuation assistance, and veterinary services.
  • Due to the lack of services an estimated 600,000 animals died from abandonment in Katrina.
In reaction to the colossal loss of animal life in Katrinaís aftermath, the United States Congress passed the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which requires states requesting FEMA assistance to have an animal evacuation plan in place. This is a non-funded mandate therefore it is prudent for USA residents to contact local authorities to see what programs have been put into place.

What Japan teaches us is to have a plan and be prepared. A simple way to do this is to include an animal emergency kit in your familyís evacuation plan to prevent pet loss. An ideal animal kit would contain the following:
  • Dry food, water, dishes, spare leashes, collars, and shampoo
  • Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth to prevent fleas, ticks, and parasitic maladies
  • Duct tape, and twine for extra emergency collars, leashes, and tourniquets
  • Portable travel kennels and durable toys
  • Plastic bags and portable shovel
  • Spare towels and blankets
  • Veterinary contact card, medication, and printed copies of vaccinations and prescriptions
  • Secure name-tags with the petís name and valid contact phone number
  • Soothing music for animals like nature sounds and Native American flute music
  • A printed list of pet friendly hotels for your state and immediately surrounding states
It is important to make flyers and keep them updated to reflect correct description, photo, name, owner, and veterinarian contact information. Print out a dozen flyers and keep them in a water/air tight storage container. Be sure to update flyers when there are any significant changes. Other things to add to the flyer would include:
  • Relevant features and details
  • The petís color pattern, gender, and scars
  • Unique items like a collar design worn or animal outfits
  • Their spay/neuter status and medical conditions
  • The presence of an active electronic identification chip
  • How the pet interacts with strangers, children, and other animals
Have a hard-copy contact sheet handy with your local Humane Society, pound and pet emergency services. Petfinder.com is an online service that helps you locate active shelter, rescue, and foster-care programs and services in your area and is a wonderful resource for generating a list.

Assertive preparation is the best defense for animal safety in natural disasters. Japanís integration of individual, local, and national emergency plans demonstrates effective strategies to keep animals safe. We cannot prevent tsunamis or hurricanes from occurring but we can mitigate the amount of trauma incurred by paying close attention to issued warnings and through vigilant planning.

Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to Twitter Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to Facebook Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to MySpace Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to Del.icio.us Digg How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to Yahoo My Web Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to Google Bookmarks Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to Stumbleupon Add How+Animals+Survived+Japan%27s+Tsunami to Reddit


Japan Requests Patience
Japan Resumes Animal Rescues
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map

For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Animal Life Newsletter

Past Issues

Printer Friendly
tell friend
Tell a Friend
Email Editor

Content copyright © 2015 by Deb Duxbury. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Deb Duxbury. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Deb Duxbury for details.


g features
Animals Help Relieve Depression

Moth Eyes Help Create Efficient Solar Cells

Tiny Menace of Australia, Sydney Funnel Web Spider

Archives | Site Map


Past Issues

Less than Monthly

BellaOnline on Facebook

| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2016 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.

BellaOnline Editor